Rare Keratoma Case Presents More Surprises

Effects from invasive surgeries could present complications for Thoroughbred

Although an uncommon condition, keratoma formation beneath the horse’s hoof wall or sole can cause lameness, recurrent abscesses and damage to the laminae and coffin bone.

Because of the potential for serious medical consequences, keratoma diagnosis, removal and treatment requires either the close collaboration between farrier and veterinarian or the involvement of a veterinarian skilled in farriery.

This article presents the conclusion of a clinical case involving a keratoma patient treated by equine veterinarian and certified journeyman farrier Raul Bras in the podiatry clinic at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. The patient, a 2-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, a future racing prospect, was referred to Bras for a defect in the dorsal hoof wall of the left hind with recurrent abscesses at that site and in the sole and mild, intermittent lameness.

Through examination and radiographs, Bras found that the horse had two keratomas (Figure 1 Above) in the left hind foot. Two masses, one at the lateral toe (Figure 2) and one directly below P3 in the region of the sole lesion (Figure 3), can be seen in radiographs. Keratomas classically show up on radiographs as a radiodense (white) circle or semi-circle outlined by a radiolucent (dark) margin. The presence of both the cylindrical keratoma under the dorsal hoof wall and the spherical keratoma beneath the sole presented a problem for Bras.


Figure 2


Figure 3

The previous article (which can be read at tracked the surgical removal of the cylindrical keratoma in the dorsal hoof wall…

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Christy Corp-Minamiji DMV

Christy Corp-Minamiji is a freelance writer and former large animal veterinary practitioner. She lives in Northern California.

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